The Director of Tripberry, Mr. Vinod Kaurani has said that Nigeria is losing billions of naira on weekly basis and it may continue in that trend unless some measure is put in place.
Speaking at the weekend in Lagos at the African sports tourism summit, Vinod said, “everywhere in the world, sports and tourism move together and none can be relegated for another. When you look at other countries in the world that had opportunity to host sporting event, sport brings in a lot of good tidings in that country.
“Imagine the impact of world cup 2010 on South Africa in terms of development in their stadia, the impact in their manufacturing industry, the money it brought in for the hotels, their transport and also how much their government generated from it, and when we translate that into our country you can only imagine the transformation it will bring.
In his reaction, Sport presenter, Mr. Kayode Tijani emphasised that the country do not take sport seriously and we still have along way to go. He said, “When you look at Brazil 2014, the competition fetch them about 11 million dollars but here in Africa we are not taking the business of sport seriously”.
Mr Tijani also stressed that the country should use the image of our sport heroes to sell Nigeria.
He saod: “I don’t see the reason we can not use our sport legend as tourism destinations for people around the world to visit. Other countries are doing it and it is increasing the revenue of those country. It saddened me when I see something different happening in our country. Have you been to Muda Lawal burial site? When you visit the site, that place is more or less a dump site. We cannot make money from it when we don’t treat them well”.
Also speaking, Mr. Bakare Abiola who represents Kenya Airways said, “the airline is ready to go any length in supporting sport and tourism in the country. Africa have been missing in sporting activities itself. Nigeria wasted the opportunity they had when they hosted world Junior world cup to sell the country. When you look at Russia world cup 2018, it was not about the football but they use that event to market their culture. Because 65 per cent of the activities can be put under tourism while 35 per cent is on football.”
While appreciating the guest speaker, the convener of African sports tourism, Mr. Deji Ajomale noted that, “the reason for the summit was to bring stakeholders in sports and tourism together so we can exchange ideas and extend the hand of fellowship for the socio-economic gain of our country, because we know we are not optimising the benefit of sport tourism in the country”.